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 Hillsfar's level of security against demihumans?
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Azar
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Posted - 15 Sep 2021 :  11:24:40  Show Profile Send Azar a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Hello.

Assuming a demihuman PC cloaked by a hat of disguise makes their way into Hillsfar, what degree of scrutiny should they anticipate from the local government? Will there be encounters with priests who have prepared true seeing and similar divination spells? How about the occasional elite guard in possession of a gem of seeing? Could dogs or comparable animals be trained to pick up foreign scents? Are ordinary everyday citizens just as vigilant when it comes to ferreting out "corrupting influences"?

Stand with anybody that stands right. Stand with him while he is right and part with him when he goes wrong.

Earth names in the Realms are more common than you may think.

Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 15 Sep 2021 :  12:44:56  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I would say the Hillsfarian officials are not going to take extraordinary measures to find demihumans unless there's a really good reason to. Means to penetrate magical disguises aren't exactly a silver a dozen; such things will not be employed unless they know there's a disguised demihuman, and even then, it's easier just to arrest the group and hold them until you can get a mage with detect magic to check them out.

I don't know of any ordinary animals that could penetrate magical disguises. There might be some magical animals that could, but again, this would be cost-prohibitive and not used without cause.

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 15 Sep 2021 15:32:19
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sleyvas
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Posted - 15 Sep 2021 :  14:13:45  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Agreed. I don't see Hillsfar as human extremists to the point that they go extremely out of their way to hunt down non-humans. Many of its citizens probably realize that someone coming in under disguise still carries money to buy their bread or pay for some mead or buy some equipment they need. Now, if they cause trouble, they might be looked at. Now there MIGHT be the use of magical animals.... but let's face it, if someone were to bring in some magical cat with true sight and it were known to be scrutinizing people at the town's gates... said animal would probably be targeted and killed just out of spite.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 15 Sep 2021 :  14:37:37  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Agreed. I don't see Hillsfar as human extremists to the point that they go extremely out of their way to hunt down non-humans. Many of its citizens probably realize that someone coming in under disguise still carries money to buy their bread or pay for some mead or buy some equipment they need. Now, if they cause trouble, they might be looked at. Now there MIGHT be the use of magical animals.... but let's face it, if someone were to bring in some magical cat with true sight and it were known to be scrutinizing people at the town's gates... said animal would probably be targeted and killed just out of spite.



And the latter would create a black market for ways to bypass it -- because even some humans would not want their disguises pierced.

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TheIriaeban
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Posted - 15 Sep 2021 :  15:01:38  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Continual Faerie Fire can be used to detect undead no matter how they are disguised. The priests of Selune have put a version of that in the Iriaebor council chamber to detect those that are not in their natural shape (for some reason, it doesn't work on ogre magi but it will work on dopplegangers, lycanthropes, and other shapechangers/polymorphers). I do not know if Hillsfar would be THAT paranoid for something like this to be done at the city gates.

"Iriaebor is a fine city. So what if you can have violence between merchant groups break out at any moment. Not every city can offer dinner AND a show."

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 15 Sep 2021 :  15:31:58  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TheIriaeban

Continual Faerie Fire can be used to detect undead no matter how they are disguised. The priests of Selune have put a version of that in the Iriaebor council chamber to detect those that are not in their natural shape (for some reason, it doesn't work on ogre magi but it will work on dopplegangers, lycanthropes, and other shapechangers/polymorphers). I do not know if Hillsfar would be THAT paranoid for something like this to be done at the city gates.



I just found this quote from Ed:

quote:
Seriously, I’m happy that the “real Realms” has shown through the all-too-common misconceptions of the setting for you, and though Kuje was right about my not wanting to harm Rich Baker’s great trilogy by talking overmuch about Hillsfar, let me say this much: the racism is official ruling policy, enforced by the Red Plumes but little loved by the populace. There are still a few half-elves who can pass for human with the right cosmetics and/or spells and keeping indoors by day, and do so - - and a handful of halflings and gnomes who keep hidden in cellars and underground rooms, making a good living as armorers, locksmiths, and repairers of metal items (working for humans who run smithies and shops as “fronts” with such non-humans as the unseen ‘backroom’ crafters). In the streets, though, Hillsfar is a human-only city.


(Another quote said that sages prefer the term "Hillsfarian" as an adjective)

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 15 Sep 2021 15:33:01
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 15 Sep 2021 :  15:40:44  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I actually used the racism there for part of the backstory for one of my Lords of Waterdeep. I wanted the guy (a teenager whose mother had been a half-elf) to have a reason to change his name, and I decided that he got pissed at his dad for turning in a disguised elf. The two had been growing distant for a while, and the kid's reaction to what his dad did was the breaking point -- he stole some of his dad's money to bribe the guards into letting their prisoners escape, then he admitted it to his dad. The two argued and then physically fought over it; at the end, the kid left town with the elf and her adventuring party, and she encouraged him to take a new name as a way to separate himself from his father and find his own path.

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The Masked Mage
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Posted - 15 Sep 2021 :  21:05:19  Show Profile Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I remember one book (sorry I don't remember which), where demihumans enter the city and basically just keep their heads down.

Checkpoints but no magical scrutiny.
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Azar
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Posted - 15 Sep 2021 :  22:04:32  Show Profile Send Azar a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I don't think an animal needs to be explicitly magical. There are plenty of real-world species with olfactory organs keen enough to distinguish between a wide array of scents. It stands to reason that a gnome or an elf (the latter possibly being perfectly scentless under normal conditions?) may register differently than a human. At the very least, an odd reaction by such a beast could give an authority figure in a high-security position reason enough to involve specialized magic.

Anyhow...it seems that Hillsfar isn't quite at an Orwellian level of surveillance.

Stand with anybody that stands right. Stand with him while he is right and part with him when he goes wrong.

Earth names in the Realms are more common than you may think.
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 15 Sep 2021 :  22:29:20  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Azar

I don't think an animal needs to be explicitly magical. There are plenty of real-world species with olfactory organs keen enough to distinguish between a wide array of scents. It stands to reason that a gnome or an elf (the latter possibly being perfectly scentless under normal conditions?) may register differently than a human. At the very least, an odd reaction by such a beast could give an authority figure in a high-security position reason enough to involve specialized magic.

Anyhow...it seems that Hillsfar isn't quite at an Orwellian level of surveillance.



While I'd agree that a halfling likely smells different than an elf, my thinking is that unless a magical disguise is visual-only, it's going to cover the smell, as well.

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sleyvas
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Posted - 15 Sep 2021 :  22:45:35  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Azar

I don't think an animal needs to be explicitly magical. There are plenty of real-world species with olfactory organs keen enough to distinguish between a wide array of scents. It stands to reason that a gnome or an elf (the latter possibly being perfectly scentless under normal conditions?) may register differently than a human. At the very least, an odd reaction by such a beast could give an authority figure in a high-security position reason enough to involve specialized magic.

Anyhow...it seems that Hillsfar isn't quite at an Orwellian level of surveillance.



Drawmij's scent mask ....various phastasmal spells as well... just saying, there would be easy ways around it that aren't high in level. In fact, if they WERE doing this and I were an enemy of hillsfar, I'd be putting illusory smells on people just to piss off the guards and think their dogs were stupid. Then there's also the option of just killing them in their pens (the realms is a lot more violent than our world, where training drug dogs is a viable option... and dimension door gets you past the gates). But yeah, not at that degree of surveillance.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Edited by - sleyvas on 15 Sep 2021 22:46:28
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Azar
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Posted - 17 Sep 2021 :  01:11:48  Show Profile Send Azar a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Does a hat of disguise alter the wearer's scent ? I see no reason to assume that it does. Anyhow, while a typical demihuman may get away with keeping their cowled head down, this one is striking in appearance; thorough concealment is a necessity in order to avoid unwanted attention.

Stand with anybody that stands right. Stand with him while he is right and part with him when he goes wrong.

Earth names in the Realms are more common than you may think.
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Kentinal
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Posted - 17 Sep 2021 :  01:35:18  Show Profile Send Kentinal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
No it does not, hat of disguise provides disguise self spell effect
quote:
You make yourself—including clothing, armor, weapons, and equipment—look different. You can seem 1 foot shorter or taller, thin, fat, or in between. You cannot change your body type. Otherwise, the extent of the apparent change is up to you. You could add or obscure a minor feature or look like an entirely different person.

The spell does not provide the abilities or mannerisms of the chosen form, nor does it alter the perceived tactile (touch) or audible (sound) properties of you or your equipment.

"Small beings can have small wisdom," the dragon said. "And small wise beings are better than small fools. Listen: Wisdom is caring for afterwards."
"Caring for afterwards ...? Ker repeated this without understanding.
"After action, afterwards," the dragon said. "Choose the afterwards first, then the action. Fools choose action first."
"Judgement" copyright 2003 by Elizabeth Moon
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Azar
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Posted - 17 Sep 2021 :  02:44:15  Show Profile Send Azar a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Kentinal

No it does not, hat of disguise provides disguise self spell effect
quote:
You make yourself—including clothing, armor, weapons, and equipment—look different. You can seem 1 foot shorter or taller, thin, fat, or in between. You cannot change your body type. Otherwise, the extent of the apparent change is up to you. You could add or obscure a minor feature or look like an entirely different person.

The spell does not provide the abilities or mannerisms of the chosen form, nor does it alter the perceived tactile (touch) or audible (sound) properties of you or your equipment.




That iteration seems somewhat simplified to the 2e version I'd use ->

quote:
Hat of Disguise: This normal-appearing hat contains a powerful enchantment that allows its wearer to alter his appearance as follows:

Height: +/–25% of actual height
Weight: +/–50% of actual weight
Sex: Male or female
Hair: Any color
Eyes: Any color
Complexion: Any color
Facial features: Highly mutable

Thus, the wearer could appear as a comely woman, a half-orc, or possibly even a gnome. If the hat is removed, the disguise is instantly dispelled. The headgear can be used over and over. Note that the hat can be changed (as part of a disguise) to appear as a comb, ribbon, head band, fillet, cap, coif, hood, helmet, etc.

Stand with anybody that stands right. Stand with him while he is right and part with him when he goes wrong.

Earth names in the Realms are more common than you may think.
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